Before reaching a budget deal, General Assembly members say they made concessions on both sides, to make the negotiations work.
But they could not come to an agreement on transportation issues, which will now have to be tackled during the next session.
The $85-billion budget gives state employees bonuses in December and raises next year if revenues hit targeted goals. It also adds $214-million to public education, and Prince William Senator Chuck Colgan says they fought for cost-to-compete funding, which is essential for his region.
“We finally settled it for $28-million the first year subsidized and the second year $12-million however, the $12 million would be subject to an increase next year—we don’t know yet how much,” said Colgan.
House Majority Leader Kirk Cox says they discussed it, but there was limited progress on toll mitigation for Hampton Roads and Northern Virginia. “Our position in the end was that we had great compromises in the big areas of K-12, Health, Higher Ed. We felt like it was sort of a last minute add-on. It simply buys down the tolls for a limited period of time, it really doesn’t take much money off the projects,” saids Cox.
The budget also adds $44-million for Health and Human Services and $141-million for Higher Education. The full legislature will likely vote on the budget April 17th.